Austin startup takes on Vonage, expects 3 million users soon

April 17, 2015

Written by Christopher Calnan

An Austin startup that developed a mobile app to eliminate roaming charges for international phone service is yet another example of how just about everything is being shifted to — or routed through — the Internet.

YouRoam Inc. is re-routing such calls to voice over Internet protocol, or VoIP, technology with a mobile app. A similar approach has made Vonage and Skype household names — not to mention corporate powerhouses.

Entertainment content — including music, movies and television shows — represents the lion’s share of old-school content making its way to or through the Internet and the sea change will inevitably flood conventional voice services, said Jeff Kagan, an Atlanta-based telecommunications industry analyst.

“It’s going to be a transformation that takes five, 10, 15 years,” he said. “We’re all using the Internet for everything.”

Here’s how YouRoam is using the Web in a new way: It enables users to make international calls over the Internet by using their own Android operating system and Apple Inc. mobile phones with Wi-Fi service. Instead of paying as much as $2 or $3 per minute in roaming charges, YouRoam charges customers pennies per minute, CEO Marcos Cunha said.

“It’s way cheaper than all the alternatives out there,” he said.

Read the article at the Austin Business Journal website